Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.2/ Trend F.Milad/
Iran plans to exports some 135 tons of saffron worth $400 million in the current Iranian calendar year, Deputy Agriculture Jihad Minister said on Wednesday.
"Iran exported some 122 tons of saffron worth $366 million in the previous calendar year," the IRNA News Agency quoted Naser Tavakoli as saying.
Iran exported some 48.4 tons of saffron worth over $147 million during the first six months of the current Iranian year (ended September 21), the ISNA news agency reported in October.
The figure showed 7 percent increase compared to the same period previous year.
The head of the association of saffron farmers of South Khorasan Province said in May that Iran's saffron output is forecasted to hit 250 tons by the end of the current year (March 20, 2013), showing 40 tons rise compared to the previous year.
Last year, over 130 tons of saffron was exported, which was 47 percent more than the figure in its preceding year, Ali Hosseini added.
He put the domestic consumption of saffron at 40 tons approximately.
Iran currently exports saffron to 41 countries, an Iranian university lecturer said on November 14.
Iran accounts for 95 percent of the world's total saffron supply, the ISNA News Agency quoted Abdollah Molafilabi as saying at the sidelines of 'Saffron: The Red Gold' exhibition in Northeastern city of Ghayen.
Iranian MP Mohammad Esma'eilnia said on November 5 that Iran annually produces 180 tons of saffron, which accounts for 80 percent of the world's total supply.
"Since Iran is the world's greatest saffron producer, the country can play an important role in setting the price in global markets," the ISNA News Agency quoted Mohammad Esma'eilnia as saying.
The Iranian administration has developed a plan for raising the annual saffron output to 500 tons by 2021. The plan envisages boosting the exports to over $1 billion by 2021.
Due to its diverse climate and fertile soil, Iran's agriculture products are rated among the best in the world with its saffron standing second to none.
Around 300 tons of saffron, which is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus, are produced worldwide each year, with Iran , Spain , India , Greece , Azerbaijan , Morocco and Italy accounting for the largest shares, according to Press TV.